Winter tree pruning

Fruit trees surgery in winter

Temperature of air and soil are the overarching factors of growth and development of above ground and root systems of fruit trees. All of this needs to be considered when evaluating overall heath of the tree and before we start any tree surgery.

Plants handling in winter

Atmospheric temperature affects the chemical processes and movement of substances inside the plant, such as evaporation of water from leaves microbiological processes in the soil and so on. Not only a frost-free period of a certain duration, but also an appropriate temperature changing rhythm over the whole year are essential for the right development of plants. Consequently, gradual cooling during the fall time allows the trees to prepare for winter dormancy. Initially, at a temperature from 0° to 6° C, in plant organs large carbohydrates (e.g. starch) are transubstantiate to simple ones (e.g. sugar). Then, at a temperature from 0° to -12° C, when water passes from the cells to the inter-cellular spaces, a reserve of organic matter “for tough times” is forming. After that, the plant settles down into dormancy state. You should note that the deeper the plant’s state of relative calm, the higher its hardiness.
By the way, it is necessary to distinguish between these agronomic terms, as the frost tolerance and winter hardiness. You should keep all this information in mind selecting cultivars of fruit trees for the garden.
Frost tolerance is a peculiarity of a plant to adapt to the impact of low temperatures in a proper way.
Winter hardiness is an ability of plants to withstand the whole range of different winter conditions: a certain moisture level of soil, strength of wind etc. (Experts specified that cold-hardy cultivars of fruit trees are settling down into dormancy state much deeper than others.).
We recommend to pomiculturists to keep a diary of observations – to record all the change bits in fruit and berry plants life, as well as the terms and the nature of gardening.
Inclement winters, if not destroying fruit plants, but shortening its lives. But more often buds and branches are suffering from frost. Notably that it predominantly happens if the plants hadn’t been prepared for the winter in a proper way. For example, fruit trees have plentifully fructified and haven’t managed to save up enough spare substances, or ensuing a summer-autumn drought season have prematurely dropped all the leaves, or its foliage has been damaged by pests and diseases. To keep out of it, your garden needs a competent tree surgeon care which is the only way plants can make it through the winter safely.

Weather and Harvest

The growth of fruit plants is mostly affected by the temperature during the spring, especially in the morning.

The nutrient enrichment is mostly affected by the weather in mid-summer and autumn period.
Moderate daytime temperatures are exerting salutary influence over the processes of photosynthesis (enrichment with organic matter). Conversely, high daytime temperatures (e.g. such as were documented during the summer of 2010) are aggravating the performance of the leaves and enrichment with organic matter. Hence You get a notable shortage of the crop.
The fruits are ripening better on condition of the average temperatures in August and September are elevated.
The most favorable conditions for the growth of wood if the average temperature in late fall is lowered and in early winter it is close to 0°C.

Frost, warmth, heat

We can sort fruit plants by its particularity about heat to be arranged in such an order.
North Zone: rowan – bird cherry – cherry crab – berry crops.
Central area: apple – cherry – plum – pear.
South Zone: cherry – quince – apricot – walnut – pecan – hazelnut – almonds – peach.
Subtropical Zone: pistachio – chestnut – Eastern persimmon – figs – olive – feijoa – tangerine – orange – lemon – avocado.

Average terms of blooming of bourgeons and blossoming of fruit and berry plants


blooming of bourgeons average term Fluctuations in the timing
The earliest The Latest
apple May 5th April 24th May 24th
pear May 7th April 22th May 24th
rowan April 29th April 15th May 7th
gooseberry May 17th April 25th June 2d
blackcurrant May 18th May 1st June 1st
pears May 21st May 5th June 4th
cherry May 22d May 6th June 5th
plums May, 23rd May 5th June 8th
apple May 24th May 6th June 6th
rowan May 29th April 11th June 17th
raspberry June 12th May 23rd July 1st
viburnum June 13th May 17th July 2d